New Zealand V Bahrain World Cup Qualifier

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kiwiscot
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New Zealand V Bahrain World Cup Qualifier

Post by kiwiscot » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:17 pm

My computer has been in being repaired so I've left my run a wee bit late but if HibLog is reading this and if he knows of anyone who has a spare ticket or two for Saturdays match could he contact me on 0274 508 785 as Im going to be in Picton for the week starting Friday and if I get a ticket I'll come over on the ferry.

Alan McCabe
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Post by Alan McCabe » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:31 pm

Much as I hate to dampen the enthusiasm of the 'All White' supporters ahead of their biggest match in 27 years, but is this not a complete World Cup nonsense?
With the Aussies having defected to the Asian confederation, it left New Zealand the hardly onerous task of finishing ahead of the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu to book a double-headed play-off for South Africa!
This is a preposterous decision by FIFA given that the strongest candidate in the region had headed northwards to pastures new. Now I know this all goes beyond basic footballing sense and has far more to do with voting rights, but this is patently wrong. And even if Bahrein qualify it is still wrong as the Asian confederation has regularly failed to make a mark at World Cup Finals events outwith the one they staged themselves.
Just as ridiculous is the South American qualifying zone where, allowing that Uruguay overcome Costa Rica, five of nine entrants will play in South Africa. That's a whopping 56% of the competitors! It would be the equivalent of UEFA, undoubtedly the strongest of the regions, being granted 29 teams! Wouldn't leave much room for the others!
While the powerbases of Brazil, Argentina (eventually), Italy, France, Germany, Spain, England and Holland will all continue to deservedly attain their places in amongst the elite, they are now joined by a bunch of distinctly moderate regulars - USA, South Korea, Japan, Australia and Mexico (usually). This has detracted from the showpiece in my opinion and is governed by votes in Swiss corridors of power rather than on-field ability.
Merge the North, Central and South American zones into one super region as well as integrate Oceania into the Asian region. If New Zealand, or anyone else from the Pacific Islands, qualify through that route then they deserve their place at the Finals.
And don't think for a moment that I'm in any way championing a huge increase in UEFA qualifiers to better our own chances. I'd actually like a move to 25 Finalists in five groups of five with the 5 group winners straight into the quarter-finals and the runners-up and best third place competing in a supplementary Second Round.
Won't happen I know, but I do believe it would made the opening stages of the event much more interesting and not the walkover for the two top seeds that they tend to be.
Good luck New Zealand though, even if I don't necessarily agree with the path they have been offered. Like 1982, they may include some Scots-borns in their line-up and at least give us someone to shout for.

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Post by the hibLOG » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:08 am

Sorry kiwiscot - missed out on tickets myself thanks to some prevaricating relatives. Harumph! But I'll keep my ear to the ground just in case...

And yes, David, it is preposterous - whichever of the two qualifies from this tie will get completely horsed in South Africa.

The Scottish Connection: Michael McGlinchey - Unlikely All-White
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kiwiscot
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New Zealand V Bahrain

Post by kiwiscot » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:23 am

Alan , I totally agree with you on most points, it is nonesence the qualifying rounds, but that doesnt detract from this, as you quite rightly point out is the biggest game for 28 years in New Zealand. Its the first time a football match in NZ has been sold out, all 38000 or so tickets. They have two weeks ago just had the final of their rugby cup competition and only had 11000 approx. at the game. In a country where rugby is god and gets saturation coverage this World Cup Qualifier is most welcome. I flew up to Wellington 8 years ago to see the WC tie with Australia and the 15000 fans there that night made more of an atmosphere than 25000 NZ rugby fans would make. As for the WC Qualifiers themselves there is nowhere in the world these days you can't get to in 24 hours. The players themselves are traveling great distances to get home to join a squad, so nation V nation trans continental should not be any different. Scotland went to Japan last month for a friendly. Maybe the smaller nations , the real minnows could play each other regionally and then go in a world draw with either seedings or the highest ranked team playing the lowest ranked etc , in a knock out format until they get the last 32 and we know what we all think of the rankings system so it should make for some interesting games. Im sure kids in Taiwan, Guam, Lebanon etc seeing someone like Ronaldinho, Messi , Rooney etc in the raw, playing in a WC game locally would give as much insperation as some nameless foreign FIFA licenced coach.

kiwiscot
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New Zealand V Bahrain

Post by kiwiscot » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:30 am

Thanks for the reply HibLog, will have to settle for a Waterfront bar in Picton, Oh well there's worse places in the world to watch football.

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Post by Scottish » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:02 am

the hibLOG wrote:And yes, David, it is preposterous -
It was Alan, not me, but I agree with his general theme if not his 'solution.' Though I'd also add that the CONCACAF qualifiers have done well enough in recent competitions to justify their inclusion and would have nothing to fear from a Pan-American qualification set-up.

I commented on this issue as far back as 2002

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Re: New Zealand V Bahrain

Post by the hibLOG » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:30 pm

kiwiscot wrote:Thanks for the reply HibLog, will have to settle for a Waterfront bar in Picton, Oh well there's worse places in the world to watch football.
The sort of place you might have dificulty keeping your eyes on the TV... :)
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Post by HibeeJibee » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:02 pm

Original FIFA idea was to have Oceania winner play in Asian groups (i.e 1 of 7) but it was opposed by AFC. So current set-up next best thing. As for CONCACAF, surely on strength they actually deserve more than 4.5 slots?

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Post by Alan McCabe » Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:36 am

HJ, I assume you mean CONMEBOL (the South American region) rather than CONCACAF (the North & Central American zone)?
Strength is not the issue IMO. The undoubted power-base of the world game is Europe, this being borne out in the 2006 Finals in Germany when 6 of the quarter-finalists were UEFA members. Proportionally UEFA does not get anything approaching a fair allocation especially when considering the huge increase in participants in the post-Cold War era.
A quick glance at FIFA world rankings, irrespective of what some may think of them, shows an elite dominated by Europeans.
Alas, Blatter and his sycophants will never let on-field facts gets in the way of vote winning corruptions!

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Post by Scottish » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:09 am

Europe will have 13 finalists of the 32 taking part next year. That's the same number as in 1994 when there were only 24 finalists. A 33.3% increase in finalists and zero for Europe.

A measure of how difficult it is to qualify nowadays is to look back at 1990 when there were 14 European qualifiers (inc hosts). That left 13 places to be disputed by 32 countries. The same number of places for 2010 were contested by 53 countries. In 1990 South America were allocated 3.5 places (four after a play-off). They now have 4.5. The number of entries remains the same - ten. So South America's representation has changed from between 30-40% to 40-50% of entrants while Europe's has declined from 40% to 24.5%. That figure would be bad enough if the number of finalists had remained static but remember there has actually been an increase in finalists of a third.

What makes it even worse was the decision - taken AFTER qualifying had finished - to seed the draw for the play-offs so as to avoid (from FIFA's perspective) the nightmare prospect of Portugal being drawn against France.

Since 1990 there have been four World Cups with Europe claiming 23 of the 32 quarter-final places, South America 6 (Brazil 4 Argentina 2) and Concacaf (USA), Africa (Senegal) & Asia (the utterly discredited South Korea) one each - all in 2002. For semi-finals it is Europe 12 Brazil 3 & the ridiculous South Korean effort of 2002. Europe leads Brazil 5-3 in finalists and there's a 2-2 tie with the Brazilians for winners.

Since 1990 such unlikely semi-finalists as Bulgaria, Sweden, Croatia, Turkey and Portugal have all been provided by Europe along with the more traditional powers while no South American team other than Brazil has reached that stage.

The last time a South American side other than Brazil or Argentina reached the last eight was Peru in 1978 (wonder how they managed that?) and the last time it happened in Europe was Uruguay in 1966.

I think the evidence is abundantly clear and has been for some time that the CONMEBOL countries are vastly over-represented in the finals.

If FIFA remained true to their own rankings system (which treats results in UEFA & CONMEBOL as equal) then there should either be 21 European qualifiers and five or six in the play-offs or South America should be reduced to two direct places and one play-off. That's how bad the discrepancy is between the two leading continents.

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Post by the hibLOG » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:04 am

As an amusing aside, the Dominion Post here in Wellington yesterday observed that with the All Blacks playing Italy and the All Whites playing Bahrain, Saturday sees Milan going rugby crazy and Wellington going football crazy, a circumstance you are never likely to see repeated.

Kiwi fans are out in their customary big sports day fancy dress. While out shopping we passed various parties of scuba-divers, pirates and Romans. I can't imagine there will be too many fans who would make their way to South Africa if NZ qualify, but if they do they'll give the tournament a good laugh in more ways than just on the field.
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Post by the hibLOG » Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:30 am

White is the new black. Courtesy of a penalty save by ex-St Johnstone keeper (3 appearances in 05-06) Mark Paston which prevented Bahrain from equalising Rory Fallon's goal, New Zealand will take part in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Wellington is going All-White crazy, only partly in the knowledge that as far as World Cup football goes, this will be as good as it gets for them.

Ah well, at least I'll have someone to cheer on next summer. Sorry - I mean winter.
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John Meffen

Post by John Meffen » Sat Nov 14, 2009 2:19 pm

I herewith give fulsome praise to our antipodean brethren, go kick some [global] behind, I know who I'm supporting inthe world cup after italy [family reasons, you understand!]

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Post by the hibLOG » Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:17 am

John Meffen wrote:I herewith give fulsome praise to our antipodean brethren, go kick some [global] behind,
That's all they'll be kicking since they'll see precious little of the ball off anyone.
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Post by bobby s » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:47 pm

Who is McGlincheys dad? Is it Paul, the former Hibs player?
It's the Hope I can't stand

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